The face mask is an integral part of everyday life in Taiwanese culture. In fact, the respiratory face mask is even considered a fashion statement to some.
Over the past few weeks, I have seen quite a few of them. At the grocery store you can find face masks in different colors and even find a variety of prints. I've seen leather face masks, canvas face masks, and of course the typical face masks that your doctor or dentist wears.
I asked the HR girl in our office about the purpose of the face mask, while we were at the hospital getting my health check for my work visa. Besides being an elderly person of sickly nature, they are worn a lot during the changing of seasons, a time where most immune systems are put to the test. People working at restaurants wear them too.
Being a sick kid all of my life, this interested me. I always get sick when the seasons change! It is actually a very practical thing to do. Who knows, maybe after I am accustomed to the culture, I too will sport a face mask.
I am sure there will be many more masks in my future. Whilst looking for pictures I stumbled upon the 'Emergency Bra", which can be turned in to a face mask in case you are bombed....?
Does anyone know how this would work/why it was created? If you know do tell...
Images via Britannica.com, Anthroblogogy.com, Taiwantrade.com.tw